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Volkswagen Wants CARIAD to Move Fast – As All Software Companies Are Expected to Do

Tesla tried to apply the "move fast and break stuff" motto from the software industry to cars. There are strong signs that this strategy did not go well, as multiple quality issues popped up, and now even a new factory had to stop production. Volkswagen seems to have done the opposite: created software as if it was a car. That didn't work either that much, so CARIAD will be now "streamlined," according to its CEO, Dirk Hilgenberg.
According to CARIAD's CEO, it now has streamlined processes to move as fast as any software division should 12 photos
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The German executive talked to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) and said that he knew he had a massive challenge when he left BMW about two years ago to manage the Volkswagen group’s software division. Volkswagen is world-famous for its strenuous decision processes. In a way, this is what Hilgenberg seems to have solved.

The CARIAD CEO said that the software division is now “trimmed for speed.” That means it apparently has the necessary independence to decide what it has to do instead of asking for the approval of multiple executives. Hilgenberg also said that “the time for unanimous decisions is over” and that CARIAD is now “at the driver’s seat.” In other words, it can steer and lead the software “car” where it believes to be the best destination.

It does not mean that Volkswagen will let it drive software anywhere it wants. Hilgenberg said the company will be in the “front passenger seat,” which any married person gets perfectly well; although the ultimate decision belongs to the driver, they would better do it with the passenger’s approval. CARIAD will just not have to ask the kids – Porsche and Audi – about what they think when developing E³ 2.0, also known as Volkswagen OS or Unified Software. The German carmaker believes it will manage to offer "Level 3 and 4 driving." Level 4 cars should be autonomous in certain environments when they finally arrive.

Unfortunately, the interview with the FAZ does not clarify what Volkswagen did to grant CARIAD the necessary swiftness it needs to work as a proper software division. After all, the German automaker may agree with “move fast,” but the “break stuff” bit of the slogan can have nasty consequences in the automotive world. Tesla is (hopefully) learning that, even if the hard way. Hilgenberg knows that if CARIAD screws up, the consequences can be catastrophic for Volkswagen.

 
 
 
 
 

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